The Coastal and Inland-Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project is a prototype system combining observations, weather and water models and decision support tools to help bridge the gap and predict total water levels in coastal areas. When the demonstration is complete, everyone from emergency management officials to coastal residents will be able to use CI-FLOW to make informed decisions.
Coastal areas are especially vulnerable to flooding from hurricanes, tropical storms and other hazardous weather. The effects of this extra water on waves, tides, river flows and storm surge have been unpredictable, until now.
The CI-FLOW project has brought together a diverse team of national, regional, state and university partners to improve the quality of flood and surge information from every angle.
CI-FLOW currently focuses on the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River basins of North Carolina and the adjacent coastal waters and shorelines of the Pamlico Sound and Atlantic Ocean. Storm-surge and coastal flooding from Hurricanes Floyd and Dennis devastated this region in 1999. A broad spectrum of local, state, regional, academic and federal partners are working together on CI-FLOW to improve total water level forecasts in this area.
Over half our nation’s population now lives permanently in coastal zones. Research projects like CI-FLOW will make great strides towards increasing warning times and improving predictions to save lives and limit property damage.